Rock Creek Park Historic District

This natural reserve tucked inside the District of Columbia is an urban refuge for wildlife and a recreational asset for the city.

Located in the Northwest quadrant of Washington D.C., the 1,754.62-acre property of Rock Creek Park Historic District is roughly bounded by 16th Street on the east, Oregon Avenue and Branch Road on the west, Klingle Road on the south, and the Maryland state line and Parkside Drive on the north. This historic landscape is primarily wooded forest, sloping terrain, and grassy meadows, with two areas of concentrated development constructed with the purpose of park recreation and administration. The park is surrounded by residential and commercial structures, yet the integrity of the natural landscape is preserved.

At the core of the park lies Rock Creek, a rocky stream that swells and softens at various points along its winding trek through the woods. The most common tree types within the park are oak, tulip poplar, and beech, in addition to the less numerous mountain laurel, red maple, dogwood, and sycamore types.

In contrast to other urban park spaces (such as Central Park in New York City), Rock Creek Park Historic District is not a designed landscape, as it contains around 1,429-acres of natural forest. The park also houses over 310-acres of roads, trails, and administrative/recreational structures.

Numerous historical and cultural resources exist within the park, which is historically significant from 1791 to 1941, including: Pierce Klingle Mansion, Pierce Springhouse and Barn, Pierce Still House, Pierce Mill, Joaquin Miller Cabin, and various bridges and footpaths that traverse the park (explicitly detailed in the Historic Preservation Nomination Form).

Rock Creek Park is currently under the administration of the National Park Service. It is open to hiking, biking, horse-back riding, and various other recreational activities. Before visiting, visit the NPS website to check for trail closures or other park changes.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: October 23, 1991



5000 Glover Road NW Washington DC 20003